Monday, August 20, 2018


Get away from the ordinary for New Year’s Eve meals

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Here we are right in the middle of two major holidays. I hope this finds you enjoying the time in a way that brings you joy.

You might already have the wrapping paper shreds all picked up, the tree down and the needles swept away. Or, like us, you are still in the thick of it and have a couple of Christmas gatherings left to check off the list. Either way, the new year is knocking. Ready or not.

Speaking of the new year, New Year’s Eve can be a great excuse to step back from the busy, hectic December schedule and catch your breath. Ringing the new year in by dining out is always an option, but reservations can be hard to come by, and honestly, by this time in the holiday marathon, I’m leaning toward other options.

I vote for either staying in with family or a quiet gathering with a few close friends. Either way, it can be a good time to prepare a special meal at home. (Or it can be a great opportunity to order pizza and wings, but we will wait to do that another night.)

So, if you are up for it, plan a menu that is a bit out of the ordinary and get your grocery shopping trip in before the masses strike. Consider a tasty and eye-appealing appetizer like the Shrimp Taco Bites or something a bit unusual like the Fried Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives with Garlic Dip I’m sharing below.

The main course should be impressive as well. Prime rib or the mouthwatering Ribeye Roast with Dijon Crust and Roasted Green Beans will do the trick. Grilling steaks, weather permitting, also would be a hit.

There’s no better time than New Year’s Eve to make that impressive dessert to say goodbye to the year past. The gold-dusted Strawberries and Champagne Cake Balls recipe fits that bill.

Traditions also are important to us, so my husband will most likely get that noisy ice cream maker out and churn out a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream. It is a family favorite. Anyone else like saltine crackers with their homemade ice cream? Crackers with ice cream were a must when I was young, and we had to use chunks of ice from the water tank and hand crank the ice cream maker over the drain in the basement. It was a dessert worth working for.

Happy new year, everyone! May you all have a blessed 2018.

Thomas can be reached at


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